Simple Ways to Improve Marriage

This is the third in a three part series on simple ways to improve your marriage. The first topic is 2 Simple Words That Will Help Your Marriage: Thank You, and  the second is 3 Vital Reasons To Say “I’m Sorry”: The 2nd Simple Way to Improve Your Marriage.

The 3rd simple way to improve your marriage was a little harder to choose.

Several things came to mind.

One kept rising to the top.  


A tiny recognition of the connection between the two of you.  Perhaps so small that only the 2 of you realize it just happened.

Not sexual touch.

In fact, if the only time you are touching each other is when you are wanting or having sex, then something is wrong.  The whole physical thing may have gotten out of whack.

Has touching stopped?  How did that happen?

Maybe like this.  I have heard arguments about how wives feel groped by their husbands.  It’s a big turn-off for them.  Guys defend themselves saying they are just trying to be affectionate.  Playful.  They find their wives sexy.  It’s a never-ending battle between them that can lead to huge conflict and a lot of trouble sexually.

The woman will pull away, feeling objectified.  “You treat me like you own me.  Like you can touch my body whenever you want.”

The man will not understand and feel rejected.  “Once again, all I do is mess things up in your eyes.  There’s no pleasing you.”

All of this can be connected with having had children.  The woman is already feeling like her body is being used by her kids as home base, security blanket, feed station, jungle gym and hug refuge. If her husband can have a little empathy with this, then they are well on their way to a better understanding of why his “playfulness” is not well-received.

It’s not always tied in with kids.  It can also be a difference in need for privacy.  Or issues from past abuse.Touch reflects the importance of that person's presence to you.

Defensiveness and anger build up.  Maybe sex still occurs.  Maybe not.  But just touching stops.

That’s not good.

These issues can be addressed if both parties are willing to listen.  Realize the importance of getting their relationship back on a better track.

Touch reflects the importance of that person’s presence to you.  That you feel happy about it.  

Widowers tell me that what they miss a lot is being touched.  They miss those little daily reminders of being significant in someone’s life.

I don’t want to take that for granted.

I usually get up before my husband in the morning.  As I am leaving the room, I reach up and pull the covers around him.  Touch him lightly.  It’s my way of acknowledging that we have been together.  Now I am leaving.

When I get back in his presence at the end of the day, I have it in mind to do the same thing.

But you know, things get in the way.  The dog is yapping.  I am hungry.  He is out on the deck, watering plants.  Then it’s time for him to walk the yapping dog.  For me to cook.

In your own lives, kids may be all over the place.  Homework.  Baths.  Facebook you have to check.  Emails you have to get to.

There’s Downton Abbey or WifeSwap.  Must-see TV.

Being with your spouse a few seconds may tend to take a back seat.

The nights when I do choose to put aside my laptop.  Take that minute to find my husband, put a hand on his shoulder and say, “Thought about you today.”  

Touch.  Connection.

Priceless in its simplicity.


Footnote. Some things are just synergistic.  I was sitting in the Dallas airport as I wrote part of this.  In front of me was a couple.  Looked like they were in their sixties.  Both reading newspapers.  Sitting a seat apart from each other.  She had her leg propped up in the empty seat.  He was rubbing her ankle, and patting it from time to time.  She just smiled at him.

Point made.

Or maybe it irritated her.  I don’t know.  It was still connection 🙂

You can hear more about mental health and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

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